Mythical creatures in Burmese folklore

Male and female forms of the Belu, depicted in a 19th-century watercolour

A wide variety of mythical creatures are found in Burmese folklore and in mythology. Many Burmese creatures are part human or creatures capable of assuming human form. Most mythical creatures are endowed with humanistic mentalities, ability to converse with humans and also supernatural powers. During the 20th century, the role and diversity of Burmese mythical creatures were diversified by Shwe Thway comics which depicted the life of the Buddha, the Jataka tales and Burmese history.

The most common mythological being is the Belu, an ogre. The popularity of the Belu is due to the Yama Zatdaw, the Burmese version of the Ramayana, a very popular play in Myanmar, and also their roles in the Jatakas.

A Thaman Chah or tree tiger, from a 19th-century Burmese watercolour

List of beings and creatures

The following is a list of beings and creatures in Burmese mythology:

Creatures mentioned in plays and Burmese literature

Creatures mentioned in stories

See also


Htin Aung, Maung Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.

External links

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